Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family, was born at Todi, Umbria (Italy), on 18 November 1936. He was ordained a priest for that diocese on 2 April 1960. He holds a doctorate in classical studies from the University of Perugia.
Cardinal Antonelli was chaplain of the Catholic Teachers’ Association and of various Catholic Action groups, and also served as a seminary rector. He taught literature and art history and lectured in dogmatic theology at the theological institute of Assisi, and was likewise deeply involved in parish activities.
He was appointed Bishop of Gubbio on 25 May 1982 and ordained on 29 August. He built the new seminary, the diocesan pastoral centre and a house for the clergy. On 6 October 1988 he was appointed Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, and resigned on 26 May 1995 following his nomination as Secretary General of the Italian Bishop's Conference. He has held various offices within the Italian Bishops’ Conference and has been active in the hospital, school and university apostolates, setting up chaplaincies and creating groups for social/cultural commitment.
On 25 May1995 he was nominated Secretary General of the Italian Bishops' Conference for 5 years, and then confirmed on 25 May 2000.
On 21 March 2001 he succeeded Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli as Archbishop of Florence.
On 7 June 2008 he was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for the Family.
President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family, 26 June 2012.
He participated in the conclave of April 2005, which elected Pope Benedict XVI and in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Title of S. Andrea delle Fratte (St. Andrew delle Fratte).